Thursday, March 9, 2017

Course Update


Over the last two weeks we have gone from one extreme to another and we have had to change gears a little bit.  It seems we will be starting the growing season a little early this year.  With temperatures above normal even though soil temperatures are still cool we have already mowed the greens, tees and fairways which is always exciting!  It was nice to get them cleaned up a bit anyway.     With record temperatures at the end of February and lack of rainfall that forced us to get our irrigation system pressurized the earliest I ever have.  At least this will give us more time to continue to address any problems that we may encounter. 
Recently I attended the Mid-Atlantic Golf Course Superintendents Association 2017 Educational Seminar.  Over 100 people attended the conference to listen to speakers from universities and consultants in the turf field.  Continuing our education is very instrumental in keeping up with trends in the turf industry especially after summers like we had in 2016.  There were various speakers and topics discussed during the day and some of their presentations really hit home in regards to conditions that Superintendents faced last summer in regards to the weather.  As you can see in the picture above discussing soil temperature and how much more important that is than air temperature during periods of stress.  Just like the temperatures in our body if we get to hot we feel miserable and cannot function very well.  The same can be said for turf grass roots when the soil temperature gets to hot.  In a nut shell when the soils heat up the damage to the actual grass plant may not be visible until several weeks later and by that point your in trouble.  So just imagine waiting for summer to end if we get extremely high soil temperatures early on!  Basically recovery will only begin when the soil temperatures start to drop.
During the conference they raffled off a new bag with the Mid-Atlantic GCSAA logo on it and guess who the lucky guy was!  Can Steve Newsome please come up!
I would like to personally thank Dave Bell for adding a few bluebird houses to our course.  As you can see Mr. Bell spent some time on these beauties.  They are located to the left of the first green, in the native area between 4 and 5, in the native area between 5 and 15 as well as one to the right side of 7 tee box in the native area.  Nice work Mr. Bell and Thank You!
One March 1st we received a nasty front that moved in and unfortunately for us knocked down some trees on the course.  This is a willow down by the creek on the first hole.  We had the tree company on it first thing on Friday morning starting the cleanup process.  After they complete the chipping and removal of the tree the stumps are ground down below grade and we are left to cleanup the debris, fill the hole with soil and sod.
A favorite I am sure by many was this pine just short of the left greenside bunker.  If you look the background you will also notice a tree that fell on the right side of hole 16.

This was a pine on the right side of 15.
What better timing!  Our order of trees arrived at the beginning of March and we did not waste anytime getting them in the ground.  We installed the trees in a few areas where we had lost trees in the past.  Overall we planted 10 trees that have some good height to them already as you can see in the picture.  We planted 2 Maples and a Linden on the right side of 2 fairway, hole 5 received 3 Norway Spruces, hole 7 had 2 Lindens and a Maple planted on the right side and hole 8 had a black Gum planted on the left side.